The Drake Buccaneer Sets Sail

“The ‘verse keeps getting bigger, but some things never change. Whatever you got, no matter how much or how little, there’s always someone waiting to take it from you. You either let it happen or you fight. Don’t know about you, but I’m damn well gonna fight.”
- Dosh Mallory, famed frontiersman, 2656

The Drake Buccaneer


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The problem: you’re conducting the mineral survey that’s going to make or break your org, holding in your Caterpillar just off an asteroid belt. Everybody’s counting on this: your crew, your org mates, your families back home. But you aren’t worried: a few more deep scans and you’re going to strike it rich. Suddenly, the screens go red: bogeys all around! Looks like Vanduul want a piece of the action: you.

The solution? The Buccaneer, the latest and greatest utility fighter from Drake Interplanetary. The Buccaneer has been designed from the ground up to fly and fight the way you live. No leather interiors or hyperpillows here: the ‘Bucc is a scrapper designed to maneuver and fight above its weight class. This rough-and-tumble frontier fighter can be maintained in the worst of conditions in order to keep real, working space crews alive.

Drake Interplanetary builds starships for the way you live, and we are pleased to add the Buccaneer to our expanding lineup of craft offered to legitimate businesses in human space. Intended to complement the Cutlass/Caterpillar system, the Buccaneer was developed based on careful examination of actual after-action reports and extensive pilot feedback. What did all of our research tell us? You want a ship that can maneuver and pack a punch without breaking the bank.

The Buccaneer is all of that… and more: it’s a ship with a bite that’s every bit as mean as it’s silhouette implies! Featuring five gun mounts, two missile pylons and countermeasures, this is one fighter that won’t be pushed around! With a Buccaneer in your hangar, you can rest easy knowing your concerns are being protected.

Visit the Buccaneer



Designing the Usable Future


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In the Verse

When Drake Interplanetary set about developing a dedicated fighter, they didn’t do it in a vacuum: they wanted a ship that would work alongside their entire lineup. This newest entry to the Drake catalog is an agile scrapper, something intended to take hits without breaking the bank on repairs and maintenance needs. The Buccaneer also needed to provide ample support to either the Cutlass or Caterpillar while also having the range of travel to safely cover a Herald. To meet these goals, the engineers at Drake opted for a single-seat, maneuverable fighter built expressly for combat, with plenty of capacity to alter its loadout to quickly move between close-range fire support and long-range escort. A purpose-built ship, the Buccaneer is ready to stand toe-to-toe with any other fighter in its size class.

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In the Game

The Drake Buccaneer is intended to offer a civilian alternative to ships like the Hornet and Gladius. It has been developed with an eye towards working alongside the Drake Cutlass, offering pirates (and others!) a sturdy, maneuverable fighter. The Buccaneer will also feature as an NPC aggressor in Star Citizen’s persistent universe and future single player campaigns. While Drake has designed the Buccaneer with an eye towards accompanying Cutlasses and/or Caterpillars on raiding parties, it is also an effective single-user fighter that measures nicely alongside the other models already In service. We intend the Buccaneer to be an agile, hard-hitting ship that’s a joy to fly… with an attack aircraft-inspired face that only a hard-fighting frontiersman could love!


Drake Interplanetary Market Research


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Every Drake Buccaneer sold during this concept sale will include a special weapon add-ons package courtesy of Voyager Direct! The bundle (an UEC 10,000+ value) will include a weapon add-on currently available in Star Citizen, which can be used immediately on other ships. This bundle is included free or charge for every Buccaneer sold during its introductory offering.

What’s in the bundle? We can’t tell you… because we don’t know yet! The team at Drake Interplanetary has put together a multi-day Market Research Quiz intended to tell us more about Drake owners’ interests AND to decide which of two packages will be awarded. Stop in every two days to vote, and come back at the end of the sale to learn which package Buccaneer owners will receive!

Please note that the vote is restricted to registered Star Citizen Backers.

The Drake Look and Feel


We had a chance to sit down with Concept Artist Jim Martin, who has not only been with the project since the very beginning (he created the visuals for the Vanduul Scythe) he has also worked on every Drake ship to date. Below you’ll find a personal message from Jim, as well as an interview from this week’s Around the Verse!

A word from Jim Martin

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I had the chance to return to the Star Citizen team for another “Drake” design!

The Buccaneer is a small rugged fighter that fits into the Drake design aesthetic. It’s a practical ship with a specific role. Nothing fancy, the Drakes are reliable and solid.

We started the process of design by looking at the style guide for the whole Drake line, and what the core design themes are. I roughed out a sketch pass doing a spread of small thumbnail drawings. The important thing is to get the ideas down on paper and see what jumps out at you. It became apparent that this design was really about engines, a cockpit, and weapons. And the design challenge was about a practical arrangement that stays utility, not too fancy or sleek.

A second drawing pass led to some rough 3D models, and we we were able to get Chris Robert’s thoughts about the design direction of the Buccaneer. He helped us to rethink some of the volumes, style, and the geography of the ship components.

The final phase was to take the design to a detail pass, working out the surfaces, plating and structure, all the things that make the ship come alive. The cockpit was kept “minimal” and thinner for visibility, and of course a framed canopy in keeping with the Drake design. The wings are weapon platforms like a military helicopter, the engines are large and proud like an A10 Warthog, the landing gear is nested underneath but not hidden.

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I really enjoyed designing this little ship. To me it vibes like an underdog that you underestimate until it blows you up!

Jim Martin


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Concept sale


About the Sale

The Buccaneer is being offered for the first time as a limited concept sale. This means that the ship design meets our specifications, but it is not yet ready to display in your Hangar or to fight in Star Citizen. The sale includes Lifetime Insurance on the ship hull and a pair of decorative items for your Hangar. A future patch will add an Buccaneer poster and then once the in-game model is finished you will also be given an in-game Buccaneer mini ship model! In the future, the ship price will increase and the offer will not include Life Time Insurance or these extras.

If you’d like to add one to your fleet, they’re available in the pledge store until June 6th, 2016. You can also view a detail of the Buccaneer in the Holo Viewer in the Tech Overview of the ship page! The bonus weapons package will be revealed on Monday, June 6 and will be awarded to all backers who have purchased or upgraded to a Buccaneer.

As with every Concept Sale, we’ll be doing a Q&A post. For the Drake Buccaneer, we’ll be taking questions here in this thread and posting the answers next week. Look for the Comm-Link Schedule next week to find out when that post will go up!

Disclaimer

Remember: we are offering this pledge ship to help fund Star Citizen’s development. The funding generated by sales such as this is what allows us to include deeper, non-combat oriented features in the Star Citizen world. Concept ships will be available for in-game credits in the final universe, and they are not required to start the game.

Additionally, please note that the Buccaneer will be entering the ship pipeline now, it will ultimately be released after other concept ships have been completed. All decorative ‘flare’ items will also be available to acquire in the finished game world. The goal is to make additional ships available that give players a different experience rather than a particular advantage when the persistent universe launches.

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